Hartselle advances in Class 5A playoffs
By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
GADSDEN - Hartselle took the first step toward a seventh state championship Friday with a sweep of Southside in the first round of the Class 5A state baseball playoffs.
The Tigers beat Southside 3-2 in extra innings in the opening game of the series and added a 9-4 victory in the nightcap to end Southside’s season.
Hartsellle won the opener in 10 innings after Nic Howard drove in the game-winning run with a single up the middle.
The Tigers forced extra innings with a run in the seventh inning. Will Chappell had an RBI single to force extra innings.
Chad Girodo earned the win for the Tigers.
In the second game, Southside held a 3-0 lead until Hartselle scored nine runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning.
The Tigers’ big blows in the inning were a three-run triple by Ethan Widener and a three-run homer by Tony Weaver.
J.C. Bates picked up the win for the Tigers in the deciding game.
Danville ousted in 3A
Danville had hoped to go a round deeper in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 3A baseball playoffs this season.
Sumiton Christian made sure Danville - a quarterfinalist last season - never got out of the first round with a sweep of the series at Danville.
Sumiton Christian beat Danville 11-9 Friday and added a 5-2 victory Saturday to end the Hawks’ season.
Danville finished 27-8 after spending much of the season ranked in the top 10 in Class 3A.
Sumiton Christian went in front 11-3 in the first game before rains helped Danville hitters break through for six runs.
Jake Mahathy and Dakota Wilson were walked with the bases loaded in the inning, while Parker Hogan was hit by a pitch to score a run as the Hawks trimmed the gap to 11-9
Danville had runners on second and third with a chance to cut into Sumiton Christian’s lead further, but the Eagles got out of the jam with a groundout to third.
In the deciding game, Sumiton Christian jumped out to a 5-0 lead against Danville in the second game of the three-game series Saturday and held on for a 5-2 win to earn a spot in the second round.
Danville’s only runs came in the sixth inning when Dakota Wilson hit a two-run homer for the Hawks.
Sumiton Christian used a 3-run homer by Ramses Key to spark its sweep of the series. His blow came in the first inning and provided the Eagles all the offense they would need against Danville.
Roger Smith suffered the loss for Danville.
Brooks ends Bulldogs’ year
KILLEN - Brooks scored 28 runs over two games to end Priceville’s season with a sweep in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 4A state playoffs last weekend.
The Lions, making their first playoff appearance since 1999, beat Priceville 10-0 in the opening game and ended the series with an 18-10 victory in the second game.
Brooks picked up a 10-0 victory over the Bulldogs in the first game of the playoff series when the game was ended by heavy rains.
Matthew Woodward limited Priceville to just two hits in the win.
The game was ruled a complete game after the umpires called the game in the top of the fifth inning.
Brooks’ Cody Berry went 3-for-5 at the plate in the second game as the Lions improved to 20-11 overall.
Priceville’s Etheridge went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Jeremy Hale added an RBI with a pair of doubles.
Clint Barthel also had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Brooks led 17-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Priceville scored five times to trim the gap to seven runs with the help of two hits, two walks and a pair of hit batters.
Falkville falls on road
FLORENCE - Mars Hill swept Falkville 10-0 and 8-6 in the opening round of the Class 2A state playoffs, but the Panthers had to fend off a late challenge from Falkville in the second game to end the Blue Devils’ season.
Mars Hill improved to 22-11 with the sweep. The Panthers will travel to Pleasant Valley this week for the second round of the playoffs.
Mars Hill led 6-0 Saturday in the second game of the series before Falkville scored five times in the fifth to get within one run of the Panthers.
Zack Moore doubled to drive in two runs in the inning for Falkville.
Falkville tied the game in the sixth with another hit by Moore that scored Nate Austill.
But Mars Hill scored twice more in the seventh inning to end the series with the 8-6 victory.
Mark Vanhorn limited Falkville to just three hits in the opening game of the series.
The Panthers’ starter struck out eight to earn the win.
Mars Hill had just five hits against Falkville.
The Panthers broke the game open with five runs in the second inning, a run that was highlighted by Ben Wright’s 2-run triple. Robert Walker, Jonathan Florida, Martin Leavitt and Will Myhan also scored in the inning.
Mars Hill scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch in the sixth inning.